Dying ‘Star Wars’ fan gets early screening
A terminally ill “Star Wars” fan whose dying wish went viral was granted an early screening of the latest installment of the sci-fi blockbuster and a phone call from director J.J. Abrams, his wife said.
Daniel Fleetwood, 32 and a resident of Texas, has been a fan since he was eight or nine years old. He is dying of a rare form of connective tissue cancer.
“Daniel just finished watching an unedited version of Star Wars: The Force Awakens!!!” wife Ashley Fleetwood wrote on Facebook.
“In the amazing typical Disney way, they really do make dreams come true.”
Fleetwood thanked Abrams for personally calling them on Wednesday to tell them that “his wish was granted” and also expressed gratitude to those who helped share his story.
“May the force be with you all,” she wrote.
An online campaign to support his quest drew the attention of Mark Hamill — the actor who plays the legendary Luke Skywalker. He retweeted two Twitter posts last week hoping to bring the “Force for Daniel.”
John Boyega, who plays the lead character Finn in the upcoming “The Force Awakens,” also retweeted a Tweet about the campaign and by Tuesday the story had been picked up by scores of media outlets.
“I just love Star Wars,” Daniel Fleetwood told KPRC-TV in Houston, Texas last week. “With everything I got, I love Star Wars.”
The screening couldn’t have come at a better time: on Monday doctors told Fleetwood that his lungs are 90 percent filled with cancer.
There is a precedent for his request: Abrams granted a similar wish to a Star Trek fan, Daniel Craft, who died shortly after watching a rough cut of “Star Trek Into Darkness” in 2013.
Fleetwood is spending his last days at home with his wife in their Spring, Texas home and is receiving hospice care.